Last month, Shae and I purchased a 8.5′ x 20′ trailer from Life Elevated Trailers down in Springville, Utah. I took these pictures back when we first got it, but I only just got around to uploading them now. Aside from loading it up with some of our stuff for the big move, it’s exactly the same still and will be until we start working on it up in Washington.
I like to call our trailer as it is now the “bones” because it was pre-built and we’re going to make modifications inside and out to build our tiny house.
Shae really wanted the RV style door because of the ease of opening and closing it while keeping that “home” feel.
One question Shae and I are often asked is why did we decide on building our home in a cargo trailer rather than building a typical tiny house like we originally planned?
At first I was opposed to building our home in a cargo trailer, not only because I think they are ugly compared to the unique and chic styles of what most people now envision tiny houses, but also because there wouldn’t be any loft space that is typically featured in the majority of tiny house designs. Living in a tiny house was already something Shae had to convince me was something I could do, and I originally only agreed to it since I thought it would add an interesting dimension to the artistic persona I try to portray as a writer.
We also stayed in the Kangablue at the Tiny House Hotel in Portland for our Honeymoon, and my experience in that tiny house changed my perspective on my ability to commit to minimalism and tiny living. Basically, I was sold on the lifestyle because of its simplicity–especially as someone who absolutely hates cleaning.
But, still, a cargo trailer was another giant leap for me. It wasn’t until Shae became enamored with van dwelling that I finally started opening my mind to possibly building our tiny house in a cargo trailer.
I drew the line at van dwelling.
With having Crohn’s Disease, a readily accessible toilet is something I cannot do without, yet the discreetness of van dwelling still appealed to me. As many people living in a tiny house know, a tiny house lives in a sort of gray area of legality–one built on a trailer gets away from minimum square footage required by building codes because it’s classified as an RV; however, in some neighborhoods it is still illegal to live in a tiny house. While Shae and I aren’t moving to an area where that is the case, we still wanted to keep our options open just in case we ever decided to move to another area where tiny houses are frowned upon.
Our plan is to add at least two shed style windows on each side of the trailer.
Just like van dwelling can help people stay in areas without suspicion of someone actually living inside the vehicle, a cargo trailer will also help with that illusion. And that is why I changed my mind about living in one: I wouldn’t have to worry as much about us losing our ability to live in our home because of outside disapproval.
Shae, on the other hand, not only found the reason of discreetness appealing, but he also likes how a cargo trailer has been engineered and built to be moved frequently. He wants to keep all his options open for our future, and travelling is something that really appeals to him. If we are able to both get jobs working remotely, then there isn’t any reason why we couldn’t take some time to travel around North America.
He also likes how in the long run, the costs will be cheaper and the labor less.
He still likes the idea of van dwelling and watches videos about it on YouTube all the time. While he has been able to persuade me not only to live in a tiny house, but a cargo trailer, I know I’ll never want to live in a van. I did give him permission to live in a van if I die before him, though. But until then, a tiny home in a cargo trailer is what we will be calling home in the near future.
The far back of the trailer will contain our “loft” bedroom and a mini garage underneath. Next to that will contain our living room and dining area over the wheel wells.
The kitchen and bathroom will be on this side of the trailer.
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Christine also has a personal blog where she shares her writing and her life experiences as a writer and artist. Feel free to check it out here.